Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bracketology: Dressed for Success -- 2nd Round, part 2

Doug:  Welcome back -- you know the drill!  But if you don't, we're voting on the best costume of the Bronze Age -- all of the polls for this go-round are on the left.

Doug:  For discussion today, I'd ask you to survey the full bracket below and choose a character or two.  In your mind,who drew the definitive version of that character and maybe also toss out a few pencilers who got it wrong.  That should (hopefully) liven things up in the comments section!  And have a great day!




Anonymous said...

Karen has highlighted several times that one of the problems of modern art is that heroines are drawn like hookers, which is fair comment, but one thing that used to annoy me back in the day was kind of the opposite: some artists used to draw heroes, particularly ones like Iron Man, in such as way as they really just drew the costume. You never had a sense that there was a real person inside it because there was no real sense of anatomy or figure drawing.

Characters like Galactus got a lot of this treatment. I like Byrne’s Galactus. You can see real facial expressions under that trophy hat.

In terms of this topic, you have to pity Dave Cockrum. He should be the signature artist for all those Xmen, but unfortunately, it was the Byrne period when so many of us really started our love affair, so it’s hard not to regard Byrne as definitive.

Doc Strange is a really tough one. He has had some superb artists; not least Ditko, Colan, Smith, Brunner and people like Rudy Nebres did some nice issues. I like Colan on the Doc himself.

Captain Marvel and Warlock...well, not even a conversation, is it? Although I think Broderick’s work on CM was underrated (though it’s about 30 years since I read it).

Conan is Smith. Despite great stuff by Buscema and Kane, Smith put everyone in the corner on day one.

Goliath would be Big John. Love those Avengers from the 40’s onwards. Also Subby belongs to JB.

Love Byrne’s Beast. Love the fur.

It’s kind of weird to me that I don’t regard Perez, Adams or Kane as definitive on anyone. I guess they didn’t own any Marvel characters for long enough. Actually, no, Adams is definitive on Lorna Dane.

Trimpe on Hulk, but ONLY with John Severin inking.

I guess I have to give DD to Miller. Sorry Gene, sorry Wally.

Shang Chi – I’ll take Gulacy over Zeck.

And Mary Jane? ...well, face it, tigers...


Inkstained Wretch said...

How can anyone - anyone - vote against the Alan Scott Green Lantern?

Seriously, that is one of the most amazing costumes in the history of comics. It should not work. It violates every rule. And yet it is awesome.

Garett said...

Hey Richard, I'd say those artists are definitive at DC.
Perez--Robin, Starfire.

Edo Bosnar said...

I agree with Garett about the Perez versions of Robin and Starfire, but I'd also add all of the New Teen Titans to the list, as well as Deathstroke. Also, since Taskmaster is in the brackets, Perez also did the definitive version of that character.
While to me Aparo edges out Adams for the definitve portrayal of Batman, Adams' version of Green Lantern is absolutely definitive. I also think Adams did the best versions of Green Arrow (although Trevor von Eeden gave him a run for his money) and Deadman (although similarly, Garcia Lopez gives him a run for his money here).
I also agree that Kane did the best Atom - especially the Sword of the Atom version.
As for others, I think the definitive version of Spider-woman was drawn by Joe Sinnott for the cover of the first issue - it's too bad he never did any of the interior art.
And Inkstained, sorry, but Alan Scott Green Lantern doesn't hold a candle to any number of outlandishly designed costumes created by Jack Kirby which nevertheless work, i.e. Mr. Miracle, Omac, Galactus, Hela, Big Barda...

david_b said...


Agreed on many points (especially the hookers comment of today's drawers..). As for Galactus, as much as I love Big John, I strongly preferred the Kirby 'Big G'.

To me, less expression was MUCH better. This gave Galactus a more 'above anything earthlike' quality , much more majestic, less anthropromorphic. I didn't care much for the 70s Galactus, getting into arguments with Reed Richards.

Big John was best on Avengers (and FF with Sinnott). I regard both Perez and Cardy difinitive on Titans; Perez was great on mature Dick, Wally, and Donna, but couldn't stand the Jericho character's appearance.

Cardy's still my fav for Aquaman/Aqualad.

Heck or Brown on DD, Trimpe/Severin on Hulk, definitely. I tried to like 70s Doc Strange with Brunner, but found myself greatly preferring the days of Ditko and Colan.

Adams..? Best on nearly any DC character, especially Bats or GL.

IMHO, who consistantly got it wrong for inking..? Chic Stone. Still have trouble with him on FF (early work, or some 70s Annuals..). As mentioned on previous days (like stories of drawing characters when we were growing up..), either you can ink Grimm decently, or don't even come near the FF. Work by Milgrom or Robbins closely follows.

Edo Bosnar said...

As for one who I felt got it wrong, and sticking to the characters from brackets: Carmine Infantino on Nova. His style was completely ill-suited to the character and the series as a whole.

William said...

Edo, I would say that Carmine Infantino's style was ill-suited for drawing pretty much anything, IMO. His very early stuff on the Silver-Age Flash was decent, but by the time the 70's rolled around his style had morphed into something that was truly unpleasant to look at.

Karen said...

First off, how has Saturn Girl lasted this long? It's a pink bathing suit -that's it! Not very creative or interesting. I guess I should never overestimate the power of blondes in bikinis. Anyway...

I know we've discussed Spidey artists before, but I have to say that I can't think of an artist that I connect with a character more than John Romita Sr. and Spider-Man. It's like peanut butter and chocolate. Romita captured the sheer fun of being Spidey. He also could handle the webbing on the costume, which I think was /is a challenge to artists, including Jack Kirby, whose Spidey never looked right.

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, you're suprised about Saturn Girl? At least she has those Cockrum patented hip boots. What about Red Sonja? Its a sequin bikini for Pete's sake! She beat out Hawkeye and now she's going to fly past Beta Ray Bill. People are definitely not always voting for best design here, I can tell you that...
Interesting you should bring up Spider-man: for me it's a three-way toss-up between Romita, Ditko and Andru.

david_b said...

Best on Spiderman..??

Romita, Romita, Romita.

Karen said...

Edo, I don't think Red Sonja really deserves much consideration either, but at least there's a bit of flash to her look. Saturn Girl is just boring. I think there are more deserving LSH females -Shadow Lass's costume always seemed pretty sharp to me (although she could be mistaken for a space hooker).

Doug said...

Hi, friends!

I think there's a point about the polls that's been lost in some of the previous comments, and that's the head-to-head match-up of the vote.

For example, I voted for Red Sonja this time round (I think David B shamed me into changing my vote last week...) simply because I don't think Beta Ray Bill's costume is any big deal. I mean, if I'd left the temporal parameters wide open, would someone have nominated and/or voted for Thunderstrike? Bill just wears a variation of Thor's costume. Red Sonja, while certainly dubiously garbed for all the sword-slinging she does, represents to me the Bronze Age -- freedom of expression, pushing the envelope a bit. Bill's just wearing a wild Thor costume.

Similarly, I voted for Saturn Girl (although I know I didn't vote for her against Johnny's red FF uniform last week) because I don't care for the Black Goliath costume that was nominated. Now, if someone had put forth his original get-up, bare abs and all, that would have been a slam dunk for me. So you see, I tried to be objective in a subjective exercise.

I'm curious, by the same argument that some have set forth, that Poison Ivy is running even with the Golden Age Green Lantern. Gaudy or not, it's a vibrant costume that saw quite a bit of face-time in the Bronze Age in the pages of the All-Star Comics revival; Pamela Isley is just wearing the aforementioned swimsuit, albeit as if someone forgot to clean the pool...

But that's what's cool about this -- if all who have voted actually got the opportunity to sit in the same room and discuss exit polls, it would be a really fun time.


Garett said...

I voted for Saturn Girl. For me it's the colors, her blonde hair with the pink outfit. Plus it's an unusually shaped outfit, coming down in front with the Saturn logo in an unusual spot--a dull design would've put a Saturn on her chest. I voted against Starfire even though I think she's the sexiest character in comics, because her outfit isn't as unique, just the big hair.

Some close contests this time! But the Dr Strange juggernaut continues.

Mr Miracle's outfit outdoes Supes in my opinion. The main appeal of Superman is the S logo in the triangle, cool. But Miracle has those unusual colors, the mask, the circles that go with his flying disks. Marshall Rogers is the best artist for him, one of those where I wish he'd drawn the character for a substantial run. The ads that ran really were exciting.

Alex Ross depicts the best Shazam/Captain Marvel. Don Newton did a good job, and CC Beck had some good covers, but Ross really catches some fire with the character--there's enthusiasm and magic there.

OMAC almost got my vote with his unusual hair, eye symbol and color combo--quite original! But Flash is just so appealing.

Aparo is the definitive Spectre artist, and I wouldn't argue against his Batman too, Edo.

humanbelly said...

Valkyrie: Although he didn't create her, Sal Buscema absolutely defined her for us visually over several years in the Defenders. Although I didn't care for the "new" look she sported for awhile, Sal's version of the character managed to convey strength, confidence, vulnerability, femininity, and a range of underlying mental/personality issues in surprisingly petite, well-armored package. Don't even ask me to comment on Don Perlin's attempts later on. . .


david_b said...

Nope, Doug, I'm right with you. Despite my favoring Hawkeye's togs, which IMHO exemplifies a great look for a character's personality (proven by virtue of artists coming back to the iconic original.., much like Spidey, Cap, DD, you name it..). Ol' Red has my vote for the reasons you specify, primarily that it exemplifies a time in the Bronze where, like Conan and his genre of heroes, nearly allowed it to 'all hang out' (yet somehow abide by the passe Comics Code by that time..), hence celebrating as much provocative pushes as the 'undead' and zombies were at that early Bronze time too. Imagine what Red Sonja would have looked like in 60s or 80s conventional garb..?

And totally agreeing on Bill's outfit. Not even sure why that was suggested as a contender, but it wasn't my idea.

And as Karen mentioned, it really sells the swashbuckling idea of her personality quite effectively. Same being true for Valkyrie, again strongly agreeing with how splendidly Sal Buscema made nearly all our Bronze Age heroes really stand tall and heroic.

Garett's comment about Starfire being considered the sexiest sounds like another great column idea. All in the eye of the beholder, I'd probably nominate Black Widow (skin-tight Bronze outfit, either 70s black or 80s gray..).

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, re: Shadow Lass, agreed. Also, Phantom Girl, Dawnstar, Princess Projectra and my own nomination, Shrinking Violet. Too bad she was pitted against the equally cool Lightning Lad right off the bat.
As for Red Sonja, o.k. I will concede everyone's point about the way it epitomizes the bling of Bronze Age Marvel. However, I have to say, I actually preferred Smith's original costume design for her - the chain mail shirt and short shorts. Still sexy but a bit more practical given her career choice.
Garrett, yes, Aparo is certainly the definitive Spectre artist, and besides Batman, I also think he's the best Aquaman artist (yes, even better than Cardy).
And I just thought of some others: Bob Layton's Iron Man, and Jerry Bingham's Black Panther.

Doug said...

Edo --

Echo from me on Red Sonja's first look as being much better (and more practical)!


humanbelly said...

Wow, Alan Scott wins in a squeaker! Nice. . .
And now our infamously un-clad lady warrior knocks out Beta Ray Bill, and moves to the next round-! She's certainly sparking debate, eh? Aaaaaaand looks like she'll be up against Havok, I believe? I dunno, if Hawkeye couldn't take her down, then this seems unlikely as well. Good Heavens.


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